New support website for children with autism

COVID-19 has increased stress for many families
  • Deborah Condon

A new website, which hopes to empower children and young people with autism to reach their personal best, has been launched.

The new InterAcT (Accomplish and Thrive) website has been developed by the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). It is aimed at parents and professionals working with young people with autism, and intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Currently in Ireland, there are around 100,000 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The site was created to support young people who may find changes in their lives hard to cope with, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a range of resources, which aim to build on the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents and professionals working in this area.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes and restrictions to children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The loss of familiar routines, structure and access to comforting places, along with any face-to-face supports, has resulted in increased stress and anxiety for many families," commented Dr Olive Healy, an associate professor at TCD's School of Psychology.

She said that the website was created "to bring meaningful supports" to children and adolescents who may be struggling.

"Our mission is to help people by providing necessary emergency supports that can be used at home by parents and carers. We believe that the supports and knowledge provided can continue to help beyond the COVID-19 period," Dr Healy added.

The website can be accessed here.


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